Eric Henry/The DePaulia
The good times continued to roll for DePaul as the Blue Demons won their fourth game in a row, winning 80-66 over Butler.
What ended up as a rather comfortable 14-point win was anything but at the start.
DePaul’s much lauded offense came out to a slow start in the first quarter. Junior guard Lexi Held scored the opener in the opening minute. However, the team went scoreless for nearly six minutes before senior forward Kiara Dallman got DePaul back on the board.
But DePaul stuck to their game plan and were not discouraged after their shots did not go in and went on a 15-4 run to finish the first quarter to take a lead that they would not give up.
The second quarter was more reminiscent of the “DePaul Ball” that fansa are used to seeing under coach Doug Bruno. The Blue Demons outscored Butler 24-15 in the second quarter to go into halftime 41-27.
One of the reasons why DePaul was able to overcome a sluggish start to the game was the full court press on defense. DePaul came into the game ranked fifth in the nation at forcing turnovers, averaging nearly 24 a game.
Against Butler, they forced the Bulldogs to commit 26 turnovers compared to DePaul’s 15. They took advantage of that and scored 31 points off those turnovers.
It was by no means a perfect game from DePaul but they scored when momentum was shifting towards Butler’s favor. There were moments during the second half where Butler went on a bit of a run, only for DePaul to answer right back and go on a run of their own. For an opponent, trying to claw back in a game, it is a demoralizing effect.
DePaul’s “Big Four” once again made their impression on the game. Held led the team in scoring with 13 points. Senior guard Dee Bekelja had a quiet game but still managed to contribute with nine points.
Junior guard Sonya Morris had to leave the court midway through the first quarter after rolling her right ankle. But she battled through and finished the game with 15 points and five assists.
Deja Church reached a personal milestone as she scored 13 points to give her 1,000 for her career. She also led the team with 12 rebounds.
The win improves DePaul’s record to 9-3 overall and 6-1 in the Big East. The Blue Demons also improve to 18-0 all-time against Butler.
DePaul will now look to extend their winning streak to five as they travel to Ohio for another conference matchup against Xavier.